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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Justice League Europe #38 - May 1992

Comics Weekend "Dissolving" by Gerard Jones, Ron Randall, and Randy Elliott.

Last issue ended with a mysterious bad guy with amazing, mind-bending powers attacking the newly-minted JLE. As the team tries to figure out what's going on, an old friend is there to help out:
But its clear that this team, despite the presence of old hands like Batman, Aquaman, Flash, and Elongated Man, are not the team of old: instead of breaking into action, they squabble about what to do, so badly that Sue Dibney feels forced to break it up. While Sue tries to get them to work together, Batman disappears.

Flash and Power Girl, neither the most patient of people, take off to search for the guy they've labeled Destructo (work on it). Its Power Girl who finds him, and she is again stymied by his ability to seemingly bend reality to his will. While fighting off some of his minions, Destructo escapes her clutches, leaving Kara in a pile of wreckage.

Back at JLE HQ, Aquaman is busy trying to analyze some weaponry left behind from a previous battle with the Royal Flush Gang, thinking it might help against Destructo. Meanwhile, Destructo himself goes on a rampage at a nearby museum, ending with him climbing aboard a statue of a griffin and flying off!

Batman reappears while Elonagted Man is searching for clues, and they are soon joined by the rest of the team. Sue asks--nay, demands--Batman take over as leader:
...frankly, even though this is Batman, I'd have a hard time not bursting into laughter at his statement "I don't do teams." This is a guy who was part of two different versions of the JLA, formed his own team of heroes, plus maintained long partnerships with Superman and several different Robins. Methink doth protest too much, Bats.

Anyway, this pisses Power Girl off so much she flies off, so much so she even punches Flash(!) when he tries to stop her. Dr. Light tries to follow her, but Aquaman stops her.

Power Girl finds Destructo, sitting atop a statue of Napoleon, which he infuses with life. It then attacks her, delivering a powerful, startling blow:
...to be continued!

This issue was a little hard for me to swallow, characterization-wise. Not only is Batman taking the loner thing way, way too far (there are multiple scenes of him sitting on a nearby gargoyle, watching his fellow heroes go through their paces), but its frustrating to see Aquaman standing around, like a rookie, waiting for someone to take charge.

For Neptune's Sake, the guy is/was the King of Atlantis, one of the most powerful leaders on the planet (70% of the world, and all that), and he's afraid/reluctant to start telling Power Girl and the Elongated Man what to do?

I completely understand why Aquaman wasn't made team leader (we've already been there, and that didn't turn out so well), but it just feels so wrong to see Aquaman as just part of a gaggle of heroes acting like kids looking around for their Mommy or Daddy. One can understand Power Girl just wanting to do something, anything. But, then again, look what that got her.

We will continue with our look back at Justice League Europe next weekend!


Joe Slab said...

I think I may have warned you in a prior comment, rob!, Aquaman's portrayal in JLE is less than stellar...but that can be generalized to the entire book after the original creative team left the series.

Wings1295 said...

While reading this post, I was struck by the same sort of thought. I just felt like Aquaman would be thinking about all the things he could be doing at or in the sea, and here he is wandering around ... Ah well.

Plaidstallions said...

this was around the time I quite JLE and comics in general I didn't seem to be missing much.

Oh and those outfits are not improvements, yech...

Bribaby said...

If I had been the JLE, I would sue! I would sue over those costumes. Even if I were Sue, I would sue; I don't even think Cyndi Lauper was still wearing that getup by 1992.

misterperturbed said...

I'm quite certain the bad guy's name was "Deconstructo". Obviously an artsy theme.